A sudden car crash led to progressive hearing loss, but thanks to cochlear implants, Brenda has been able to regain her confidence, engage with others and reenter the workforce. Read more:
Brenda’s journey begins on a cloudy day in May 1992. She was driving through a school zone when the car, without warning, decided to do a U-turn right in front of her car. Brenda tried to avoid the accident but ended up getting t-boned by another car.
In the accident, Brenda hit her head on the seat belt buckle on the pillar of the car. This caused (among other injuries) the beginning of her progressive hearing loss.
Less than 12 months later, Brenda was suffering from Meniere’s Disease and severe tinnitus. She went to numerous physicians and countless specialists – none of whom were able to give her relief from her symptoms.
The cochlear implant solution
Brenda was told that she was too old to fix her hearing loss – so she should just go get a hearing aid. So, she initially did as she was told and got a hearing aid. By this time, Brenda was 31 years old. Within 5 years she was down to 5% hearing left in her left ear and the right was starting to go. It was at this point that Brenda was finally referred to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor who informed her about cochlear implants.
While Brenda had never heard of cochlear implants; she quickly became educated. She read all the literature her ENT gave her and was very intrigued by the cochlear implant procedure and what it could do for her.
Brenda’s cochlear implant introduction could not have come any sooner – she was learning American Sign Language (ASL) and trying to cope with her hearing loss that was still progressively getting worse. She had to leave her job because it became difficult for her to keep up with the requirements and responsibilities dealing directly with customers.
Brenda also had 2 young children. She felt she was constantly missing milestones in their life. “I realized I was missing so much with them because I couldn’t hear their voices well at all. They picked up on ASL very quickly and so we could at least talk.”
It took a few years for Brenda to go through the screening process for cochlear implants. She was approved in the spring of 2008 and received her first implant later that year. “My physician recommended Cochlear was the best option for my hearing loss. I am so thankful for his recommendation and how well Cochlear has supported me on my journey. I was fitted with a Cochlear™ Freedom® Sound Processor in 2008.”
Upgrading to the newest technology
Brenda received an upgrade in 2013 to the Nucleus® 6 Sound Processor. She is also approved for an upgrade to the Nucleus 7® Sound Processor, which she is eagerly looking forward to getting.
Brenda’s right ear was implanted in September 2011. She received the Nucleus 5 Sound Processor that was later upgraded to the newest off-the-ear technology – the Kanso® 2 Sound Processor in 2023. One of Brenda’s favorite things about Cochlear’s technology are the wireless accessories like the Mini Mic. She loves using it. “It takes sounds from my computer and puts it in both ears – just like headphones.”
In November of 2011, Brenda decided to rejoin the workforce and applied for a job. “This was only possible as my cochlear implants gave me the confidence I needed to be back in the working world. I was hired as a part-time Postmaster and have since moved into the Postmaster position. This would not have been possible without the help and support of Cochlear!”
While some listening situations are more difficult to hear, Brenda is quick to explain to people that she is 100% deaf and can only function in the hearing world because of Cochlear’s amazing technology. Brenda has loved upgrading to the new technology as it becomes available. She is now using the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor and Kanso 2 Sound Processor; she has ordered the Phone Clip to go along with her Mini Mic and she’s excited about the abilities to use the Nucleus Smart App1 with her Android™2 phone.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you Cochlear for giving me my life back!!!!”
If you are living with progressive hearing loss, a cochlear implant may help! Discover if you’re an eligible candidate today.
- Nucleus Smart App is available on App Store and Google Play. For compatibility information, visit www.cochlear.com/compatibility.
- Android is a trademark of Google LLC. The Android robot is reproduced or modified from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.